r/Invisalign: Examining the Role of Social Media in Orthodontic Management

This is an ongoing project at Indiana University, currently submitted to CHI 2023.

Invisalign patients are struggling with multiple challenges during their treatment. We discuss design implications to mitigate their challenges.

Overview: Online social media platforms have been heavily utilized as peer support communities for health purposes. However, there is very little research on how people seek support with orthodontic treatment on social media. We find this a missed opportunity to understand treatments that are associated with appearance and require long term compliance. To understand how to support people in theirInvisalign journeys, we investigate people’s challenges and their interactions in online communities, observing Reddit posts and comments. We analyze 732 posts and 11,792 comments on r/Invisalign and r/AskDentist that are extracted with the search term“Invisalign”. We identified challenges of Invisalign patients, including pain and oral dysfunction, tray time, mealtime, appearance, and financial concerns. We discuss design implications to mitigate these challenges, such as preparing people for the challenges, motivating for better compliance, and forming identity and relationships in online communities.

Methods: Online Data Scraping - Thematic Analysis

Collaborators: Patrick Shih (Advisor), Tatiana Ringenberg (Researcher)
Insights on how compliance-required orthodontic patients use social media

This study shows how Invisalign patients, who highly rely on technology and need higher compliance, use the online platform differently from previous target groups of research

design implications for online platforms to support orthodontic patients

We suggest design implications that could address the challenges that Invisalign patients face.